×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Studiocanal Looks To Up Ante on U.S., European TV Drama Production

Euro film-TV giant appoints Katrina Neylon first-ever TV drama sales head, unleashing Tandem’s Rola Bauer to focus on development, production

Studiocanal, one of Europe’s largest film-TV production-distribution-sales forces, looks set to be driving more into the U.S. TV production business, following a major strategic realignment, splitting TV production and distribution, whose reverberations will play out over the whole company.

Move roles off Studiocanal’s forceful step-by-step entry into TV production from late 2012 – plus the large demand near worldwide for high-end English-language drama, and the emergence of digital TV platforms as potential new powerful buyers worldwide for top-notch TV fiction.

Studiocanal and German partner Tandem Productions aim “to increase our number of really international TV series productions, including dramas co-produced or co-financed out of the U.S. as Studiocanal extends the number of top-level partners it works with,” Studiocanal chairman-CEO Olivier Courson told Variety.

In one major move, former Shine International sales SVP Katrina Neylon, who has spent most of her career at Twentieth Century Fox Intl. TV and Disney ABC Intl. Television, has been tapped for the newly-created post of Studiocanal EVP sales and marketing, TV series, as Studiocanal creates its first-ever TV sales operation.

Tandem Productions (“Spotless,” “Crossing Lines,” “World Without End,” “Pillars of the Earth”), in which Studiocanal bought a 51% stake in January 2012, used to handle its own international sales. These will now be put through Studiocanal, freeing up Tandem prexy Rola Bauer to focus not only on Tandem’s productions but also the international co-development and co-production of properties with U.S. and European anchor partners, whether production companies, U.S. or European broadcast networks or pay TV/U.S. cable players, said Courson.

Under Studiocanal, Tandem has moved from high-profile and highly-successful mini-series into producing recurring one-hour dramas, first Euro crime series “Crossing Lines,” show-run by Ed Bernero (“Criminal Minds”) now in its third season, plus English-language crime drama “Spotless,” co-created for France’s feevee giant Canal Plus by Ed McCardie (the U.K. version of “Shameless”) and Corinne Marrinan (“CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”).

Last summer, Tandem and Lionsgate revealed first development partners – ABC, France’s TF1, Canada’s Bell Media, Germany’s ProSieben – on “Sex, Lies and Handwriting,” the earliest drama emerging from their joint production-distribution pact, struck August 2013. Tandem has also struck a first-look distribution deal with “Hunted” and “The X Files” scribe Frank Spotnitz’s Big Light Productions.

Released from distribution duties, Bauer can now focus all the more on development and production.

“We would like Tandem to produce even more and reinforce its development capacity on international TV series, not only physically producing but co-producing with a network of third parties, both European partners but potentially U.S. partners, such as Tandem’s first-look deal with Frank Spotnitz. Rola has a deep knowledge of the U.S. market,” Courson told Variety.

Canadian-born, Bauer started her career working for 15 years at Canada’s Alliance. Move means Studiocanal will probably have to “reinforce our resources on the TV series side” in the U.S, said Courson. Bauer added that, beyond announced titles, she is currently in development on “three different projects,” one with a U.S. broadcast network, two with nets based out of Europe.

Tying in key broadcast networks partners for co-development on dramas, Bauer will of course be involved in potential upstream distribution. All of Tandem’s productions have found a U.S. distribution home, she commented.

Courson said last spring that Studiocanal aimed to up-the-ante producing as many as seven high-end international TV series a year.

He added Monday: “There is an opportunity, a huge demand for quality high-end dramas from established and new players, such as digital platforms. Studiocanal has an interesting position, given its strong relationship with networks in Europe, the relationship we also have with key talent – producers, directors and writers – and our library, which could yield properties to develop into TV series.”

Taking up her new position May 18, Neylon will also handle sales on new shows from further Studiocanal producer partners: Manchester-based Red Production Company, whose best-know productions take in Channel 4’s “Queer As Folk,” “Scott & Bailey” for ITV and “BBC 1’s “Last Tango In Halifax.”; and Scandinavia’s SAM Productions ApS, a four-way joint venture with writers Adam Price (“Borgen”) and Sorein Svelstrup (“The Killing”) and producer Meta Louise Foldager (“Melacholia”). The former Tandem sales team will become part of the new Studiocanal TV distribution unit.

Neylon will report to Rodolphe Buet, Studiocanal’s new president, international marketing and distribution, brought back to Germany this February as Studiocanal integrates film, TV and library distribution, looking for synergies, becoming a one-stop international shop, which will be helpful when selling to global digital platforms, Courson said.

“As we are operating in many countries, we have the ability to use the local resources in these countries to achieve the best possible distribution of our products there and be very close to our partners,” he added.

Red Production Company is majority-owned by Studiocanal from December 2013; SAM Productions ApS launched in May 2014.

ENDS

More TV

  • TV News Roundup: 45th Annual Humanitas

    TV News Roundup: 45th Annual Humanitas Nominees Announced

    In today’s TV news roundup, Humanitas has released the finalists for the 45th Annual Humanitas Prize, and YouTube announced a new beauty competition series hosted by James Charles.  CASTINGS Jason Kennedy has been named as the host of E!’s new series “In The Room.“ The “E! News” host will bring viewers inside celebrity homes for [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Viacom Extends 'The Office,' 'Parks and Recreation' Syndication Deals

    “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation” reruns will continue to air on Viacom linear networks for the foreseeable future. The company announced that it has reached a new deal with NBCUniversal to keep “The Office” on Comedy Central through 2021. The series will then air in a non-exclusive window on Viacom Media Networks through 2025. [...]

  • Conan O'Brien Michael Showalter

    HBO Max Orders Pilots From Producers Conan O'Brien, Michael Showalter

    HBO Max has ordered two shows to pilot, one a comedy and the other a drama. The streamer will produce both pilots. The comedy is titled “Gumshoe.” It follows a sweet, optimistic young cop and a creepy, crime-obsessed teenager who secretly team up to solve a murder. Aaron Brownstein and Simon Ganz will write, executive [...]

  • Emmys statue

    TV Academy Will No Longer Allow Inactive Members to Vote for Emmys (EXCLUSIVE)

    The Television Academy is introducing a vetting process to its Emmy-voting body, in a move that it hopes will “uphold the caliber of the Emmy Awards competition and the vibrancy of its membership.” In a letter sent to the organization’s membership on Friday afternoon, the Academy detailed new efforts to review Emmy voting status. Beginning [...]

  • Bill Murray

    Bill Murray to Star in Peter Farrelly Comedy Series at Quibi

    Bill Murray is the latest name to stop in for a quick bite at Quibi. The veteran “Ghostbusters” and “Groundhog Day” star will play a recurring role opposite Dave Franco in “The Now,” a comedy series which hails from “Green Book” director Peter Farrelly. “The Now” centers on Ed Poole (Franco), who is about to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content